We have been following the Prepaid market closely over the last year as a great way make a significant cut in your wireless expenses. Several of the latest prepaid offerings have been very useful since each of the 4 major cellular networks offer virtually nationwide service without the need for roaming. A few prepaid services do allow roaming off their home network which gives you even greater coverage. The catch is that when a carrier charges extra for roaming, the calling procedure may change.
Old hands at the prepaid game have learned the secret, but a few newcomers have sent us an email saying, "Why doesn't my prepaid phone work in Kentucky (or pick your location)?" But it does! You just need to enter the called phone number a second time. A pain? Yes, but it's the carrier's way to make sure you know there will be extra charges. The best workaround is to enter a second roaming version of your most frequently called numbers, with a "Pause" programmed in the string, into your address book. Otherwise, if you don't know the number called by heart, you need to look at the screen and enter the number you just called again or, heaven help you, write that number down on the back of your hand (who carries a pen?).
If you have service but just can't enter the extra digits, try Text Messaging which normally works with just one entry. It's that or switch to one of the prepaid services that doesn't require the 'double dial' such as TracFone, NET10 or T-Mobile. Of course you could have one of those services that doesn't allow off-network roaming and you can merrily travel along in blissful ignorance.